from Philosophy & College Life: in which the students Andrei & Jessex discuss some anthropological implications of an old story…
‘Well, Jess, “wood-elves” is just a word borrowed from an archaic English; if it were translated, it’d mean Forest People’.
‘So what does that mean? They were just people? Just a slightly-different kind of people?’.
‘Why couldn’t they touch iron, then? What do you think?’.
‘I think it’s because they were Bronze Age people and didn’t know how to work iron until modern man came, same as the American Indigenes, later’.
‘I’m gonna blow hot and cold and ask, In that case, where’s the story come from about indestructible elvish swords?’.
‘I guess whoever made that story up got it from thinking, If elves had learned to work with iron after all, they’d be the best. But it still didn’t save ’em. The American Indigenes learned to fight with guns and cavalry, but they were still conquered by those who’d known them longer, even if not individually better; and so it must’ve been with elves and iron. A few elvish heroes with proto-Excaliburs are still no match for armies with thousands of gladii. Even Arthur with Excalibur itself only held off the Saxons for a dozen years or so’.
Any questions? Comments? Suggestions? Criticism? Let me know!